The Top 10 Stories of March 15, 2013

By Duane Shank 3-15-2013

Quote of the day.
"It is critical that parents are actively engaged as their teens learn to drive. We can enact the best laws and create the strongest programs, but without parental involvement, teens will continue to be at risk." Jonathan Adkins of the Governors Highway Safety Association, as recent deadly crashes in five states are a reminder that vehicle crashes are the No. 1 killer of U.S. teenagers.
(USA Today)

1. With simple actions and dress, new pope shifts tone at Vatican.
In an ancient institution where style often translates into substance, Francis, in his first 24 hours as pope, has dramatically shifted the tone of the papacy. 
(New York Times)

2. Senate group considers large reduction in family visas.
Key senators are developing plans that would make it harder for the relatives of U.S. citizens to immigrate to this country, while easing the path for more high-skilled foreign workers, according to lawmakers and others negotiating an immigration deal.
(Washington Post)

3. Senate panel backs Obama bid to renew assault weapons ban.
President Barack Obama''s bid to renew a ban against military-style assault weapons narrowly won the backing of the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday and headed to the full Senate, where it appears certain to fail.

4. Millions went to war in Iraq, Afghanistan, leaving many with lifelong scars.
Ten years after the United States went to war in Iraq, one of the most common numbers associated with the conflict is the tally of Americans killed: nearly 4,500. Add in the twin war in Afghanistan, and the tally goes to more than 6,600. But for the men and women who served in America’s war on terrorism, the number of people affected is far larger.
(McClatchy News)

5. G.O.P. divided on proper role for U.S. abroad.
A new generation of Republicans like Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky is turning inward, questioning the approach that reached its fullest expression after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, and signaling a willingness to pare back the military budgets that made it all possible.
(New York Times)

6. U.S. drone strikes in Pakistan carried out without government''s consent.
U.S. drone attacks on Pakistan''s tribal districts are carried out without consent of the government in Islamabad and are a violation of its sovereignty, a United Nations official has warned.

7. Muslim Brotherhood''s statement on women stirs liberals'' fears.
In a statement Wednesday on a proposed United Nations declaration to condemn violence against women, the Brotherhood issued a list of objections, which formally laid out its views on women for the first time since it came to power.
(New York Times)

8. EU discusses arms ban as anniversary marked.
The EU is discussing lifting its arms embargo on Syria to allow supplying rebels, as the country marks the second anniversary of the start of the unrest.

9. Iran nuclear bomb over a year away.
Iran is "over a year or so" from getting a nuclear bomb, U.S. President Barack Obama has told an Israeli television channel, a week before visiting Israel, warning that a military option remained on the table.
(Al Jazeera)

10. Obama''s visit to Israel criticised as a ‘maintenance trip'' without peace plan.
Barack Obama will present no new Middle East peace initiative when he makes his first visit as president to Israel next week, the White House confirmed on Thursday.

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